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Chinois Grilled Lamb Chops
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Start with the racks of lamb.
Trim the racks, then slice and separate into chops.
Pour marinade over lamb and leave for 1 hour.
Slowly add the peanut oil to all the other vinaigrette ingredients.
The finished vinaigrette in the blender.

Chinois Grilled Lamb Chops

Serves 4 to 6

This is one of the all-time favorites at Chinois. The marriage of lamb with mint is a classic, but serving it with cilantro in a vinaigrette makes a really fresh and exciting dish. Look for young Sonoma or Colorado lamb to get the kind of sweetness and tenderness that is best cooked medium-rare.

Ingredients
  • 2 racks of lamb (about 2 pounds each) trimmed and cut into individual chops
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Marinade:

  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of mirin (sweet sake)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 2 cups of chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon of dried red chile flakes
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cilantro Mint Vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup of peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup each of coarsely chopped mint, cilantro and parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chopped ginger
  • A dash of chili oil
Method
  1. Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. In a large shallow dish, pour marinade over the lamb chops and refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour
  2. While the lamb chops are marinating, prepare the vinaigrette. To make the vinaigrette, in a blender combine all the ingredients, except the oil, and blend until smooth. Slowly add peanut oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat grill.
  4. Remove lamb chops from marinade and place them on a hot grill. Grill medium rare, about 3 minutes each side; or sauté them in a skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. (Cook the chops in several batches if necessary, but don’t crowd the pan.)
Presentation

Make an island of sauce on each plate. Place 3 or 4 lamb chops on center. Decorate with cilantro or mint sprigs on top and serve with Stir-Fried Vegetables or Vegetable Fried Rice.

Wine Recommendation:

Lamb is always exciting for wine lovers because it invites big, strong flavors. I like to experiment with new wines and I’ve discovered some wonderful Californian Zinfandels that are perfect partners for the powerful flavors in this dish.

Look for Ridge and Howell Mountain Vineyards and see if you can find one of the luscious Turley Zins. They’ll surprise you, I promise.
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